DAILY CATHOLIC for December 11
NEWS & VIEWS
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vol, 8
no. 50

KIDNAPPED COLOMBIAN BISHOP RELEASED
     BOGOTA (CWN) - Marxist rebels released a Colombian bishop unharmed on Tuesday after holding him for more than two weeks and threatening to subject him to a "people's trial."

      Bishop Jose de Jesus Quintero of Tibu was handed over by National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels in northeastern Colombia to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Upon his return home, the bishop told his people: "With great happiness I will stay on as bishop in Catatumbo [the region held by the rebels]. I will do so with great pleasure until the last moment of my life."

      "Freedom is beautiful," the bishop added, his voice cracking with emotion. "Long live freedom, long live Colombia, long live the Church." Bishop Quintero was accused by the rebels of sympathizing with right-wing paramilitary group and kidnapped on November 24. In 1988, the ELN rebels kidnapped Bishop Jaramillo of Arauca and subjected him to a "people's trial" after which they murdered him.

      The ELN, Colombia's second largest guerrilla army, specializes in kidnappings and economic sabotage. Founded by radical priests advocating liberation theology in 1966, it has long criticized the Church's role in Colombia's protracted internal conflict.

Acknowledgment:

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December 11, 1997       volume 8, no. 50
NEWS & VIEWS



December 1997